Why do people make bad decisions?
There are a variety of answers to this question – poor situational awareness, distracting external influences, or even just plain old human nature!
In my experience though, the root cause of most bad decisions is a lack of relevant, factual information. If you’re going to make a decision based on an opinion that has been confidently dressed up as fact, or on out-of-context statistics that have been skewed to meet someone’s agenda, you might as well toss a coin. Because without real, objective, timely and relevant information to fuel your decision-making process, the best you can hope for is a lucky guess.
iBelieve is about information. It’s about cutting through the noise of self-interested half-truths, irrelevant data and selective ignorance to deliver factual information about the IBM i platform. And I’m convinced this is why this series of events has captured the imagination and interest of the IBM i communities in the US and Australia in the past 18 months.
If you haven’t heard of iBelieve before now, where have you been hiding? This is a series of free community events headlined by Dr. Frank Soltis and MC’d by Trevor Perry, with regular appearances from the likes of Pete Massiello, Brendan Kay, Jon Paris, Susan Gantner and IBM’s Alison Butterill. Hundreds of attendees in California, New York, New England and Melbourne have left these events armed with the information that will help their organizations make educated decisions about the role IBM i will play in their strategic future.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should point out that I have a horse in this race. I was part of the team that created the iBelieve concept, and the forthcoming European tour will see the excitement descend on my own territory (if not quite making it to the little Scottish village I call home). Having said that though, I am proud of the fact that we have been able to maintain the open and vendor-neutral nature of these events.
Everyone is welcome, regardless what product or viewpoint they peddle. There are no sponsors, exhibitors or vendor sessions – not a single product will be mentioned on the day. And with the speakers all donating their time in the interest of the future of the platform, it’s all free of charge to attendees.
The European IBM i community has endured a difficult couple of years, with event cancellations, falling user group member numbers, and in-fighting leading to a general sense of malaise. Underneath all of this though, there remains a core of dedicated people who are passionate about this platform, and who are willing to give of their time to turn this ship around.
The iBelieve tour will not be an overnight fix, but what it can do is help to instill a sense of positivity about the platform and the community. And it can also provide the information to ensure that organizations plan their strategies with a firm grasp of what IBM i can bring to the table. That may just ensure that we have an IBM i community to work with in the future, which would be the best outcome for all involved!